artillery, gunboats must drive them away, which they can easily do. But by all means do not waste your ammunition, for we have to be careful with it. Should circumstances compel you to abandon New Madrid, be careful to take away all the heavy guns, spike them, or destroy them; and destroy the gorge of your works, to allow our gunboats to play into them night and day occasionally, so as to prevent the enemy from using them to command the river below Island No.10. I am having Fort Pillow put in order, under General Withers, and about two thousand five hundred men for the present, to fall back upon in case of necessity. In a few days it will be ready. Should we be forced to give up Island No.10, we will have to save from there, or destroy, as many of our heavy guns as practicable. Under the present circumstances, it is impossible to send reinforcements, as the enemy is threatening our rear in great force along the Tennessee River; and to diminish any more our forces here would be total annihilation everywhere. But if, by combining with General Johnston's army, we can defeat them, then we can come and treat as you desire those in your front. I have ordered gun-spikes or rat-tail files to be sent you from Memphis. Be of good cheer, and do for the best, is all I and the country can ask or expect from you. In case of any retrograde movement, do so with system and order, saving what can be saved and destroying the rest; but leave no guns behind without being spiked or permanently injured by knocking off the trunnions, bursting, or throwing into the river, etc. But, by all means, endeavor to save the largest and best guns for Fort Pillow. The country expects us all to do our duty with a fearless heart, and we must do it or die in the attempt. Yours truly,
Telegram.Manassas indispensable at present, but will send her if you need her absolutely. I think blockaders won't try the forts.
Fort Pillow to Mason Station, Memphis and Ohio Road, and other features of country, and send report.
Headquarters army of the Mississippi, Jackson, Tenn., March 10th, 1862.General,—I am instructed, by the general commanding, to inform you that he